Baby Red Kangaroo at Lincoln Park Zoo

Red Kangaroo mom and joey

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

After many months, a red kangaroo joey has taken his first peek outside his mother’s pouch at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The little baby was born in early May, but has spent the time securely tucked away in the pouch growing bigger and stronger.

Joeys are blind and hairless at birth, and weigh less than an ounce.  They use their forearms to crawl up the mother’s abdomen into the pouch. Once there, the joey latches on to his mother’s teat to nurse.

This little joey was the first offspring for mother Anna and father Jacob. According to Curator Diane Mulkerin, “This little roo has been very secretive so far. Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch.”

Red Kangaroo mom and joey

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Red kangaroos are native to Australia. In the wild, they live in large groups called mobs.

Learn more at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Baby Rhino Makes His Public Debut

Eastern black rhinos

King, with his mother Kapuki by his side, makes his public debut. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo

Newly-named Eastern black rhinoceros calf, King, made his public debut today at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The baby rhino, who already weighs in at 200 pounds, thrilled zoo-goers as he trotted out into the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit, exploring the sights and scents. He and his mother Kapuki had been bonding behind the scenes since his birth on August 26.

In the wild, Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching. It is estimated that there are only 5000 left in the wild in Africa.

King and Kapuki, rhinos at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

After a few timid steps, King gained confidence in the outdoor exhibit, taking in all the new sights and scents. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo.

“Breeding programs at zoos are of crucial importance to the survival of these remarkable animals, particularly as the numbers in the wild continue to dwindle,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “King will serve as an excellent ambassador for his species.”

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Endangered Black Rhino Calf Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Black rhino calf

The healthy male black rhino calf at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photos by Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

The Lincoln Park Zoo happily welcomed the birth of a critically-endangered black rhinoceros calf on August 26. The male calf weighed in at 60 pounds.

“Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “The calf divides his time between nursing, following mom around, and napping, and that is exactly what a baby rhino should be doing.”

With only 5,000 black rhinos alive in the wild, the species is considered at high risk of extinction. They are threatened primarily by poachers, who kill the rhinos for their horns. In some cultures, black rhino horns are considered very valuable for medicinal purposes.

The Lincoln Park Zoo worked hard to conserve this species through the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, an initiative of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Black rhino mother and calf

Mother Kapuki and her calf will be bonding behind the scenes for the next couple of weeks.

“This birth is cause for great celebration here at Lincoln Park Zoo and has been much anticipated” said Kamhout. “The gestational period for rhinos is 15-16 months, and they have incredibly small windows for conception. Together with the zoo’s endocrinologists, we worked to pinpoint the exact window for Kapuki and Maku to get together for breeding. The whole zoo family is delighted at this successful outcome.”

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon at Lincoln Park Zoo

White cheeked gibbons

White-cheeked gibbon mother, Burma, nurses her infant at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

On August 16, the Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed a rare white-cheeked gibbon baby. Zoo keepers have not determined the gender of the newborn yet or given the little tyke a name.

“Burma is holding the baby close and showing every sign of being a great mom,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “The youngster is bright, alert, and clinging well.”

Unlike other primates who raise offspring communally in groups, white-cheeked gibbon mothers are the primary caretakers of their babies. When the baby gets older, he or she will darken from tan to black in the first two years. If the gibbon is a male, he will remain black. If the gibbon is female, her fur will eventually turn back to tan.

In the wild, white-cheeked gibbons inhabit southeast Asia. They are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.


A video of mother Burma with her newborn at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Video credit: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Baby Gorilla Reunited with Mother

Nayembi and mama gorilla at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Nayembi and mama gorilla at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Nayembi, a female western lowland gorilla, was recently reunited with her mother after she was separated to recover from an injury. They live together at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL.

Before the full reunion, the two were able to see and smell each other under the watchful eye of caregivers.

The pair will be given some privacy to bond before the public will be able to visit with them again.

Baby gorillas

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Rare Zoo-Raised Turtles Released to Wild

The Lincoln Park Zoo in conjunction with the US Fish & Wildlife Service is working to repopulate prairie land with native wildlife.

Ornate box turtle

A zoo-raised ornate box turtle prepares for release into the wild. Photo by Sharon Dewar / Lincoln Park Zoo.

Their most recent release was 18 ornate box turtle hatchlings in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Savanna, Illinois. The zoo is also recovering other prairie-dwelling wildlife including meadow jumping mice and smooth green snakes.

“Suitable habitat is being created, but many species have trouble accessing it due to fragmentation from roads and other physical barriers which makes re-colonization of restored sites improbable,” explained Allison Sacerdote-Velat, Ph.D. reintroduction biologist at Lincoln Park Zoo.

“These collaborative conservation partnerships are terrific because each agency brings a unique expertise. The zoo specializes in small population biology and animal care. We can successfully breed, hatch and care for these species until they are large and mature enough for release to the wild – a technique called ‘head-starting’ which gives them a greater chance of survival upon release.”

Ornate box turtle

An ornate box turtle taking its first steps in the prairie. Photo by Sharon Dewar / Lincoln Park Zoo.

Learn more about the release at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Baby Girl Gorilla at Chicago Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is excited to announce that the baby gorilla born last month is a girl! The zoo has named the little one Patty, in honor of Patty Meyers, who was a long-time supporter of Lincoln Park Zoo.

Both Patty and her mother Bana are doing well and will continue to be monitored by zoo staff.

Mother and daughter gorilla

Bana enjoys a healthy snack while caring for 1-month-old Patty.

For more information, see:

Baby Zebra Makes Debut at Chicago Zoo

Enzi, a week-old Grevy’s zebra, made his first appearance at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago yesterday.

Below is a video of the lanky colt frolicking around with his mother Adia.

Grevy’s zebras are the largest type of zebra. In the wild, they inhabit Somalia and Kenya.

For more info, see:
SunTimes.com
Lincoln Park Zoo website